taiwan earthquake.jpg
Photograph: EPA/DAVID CHANG

Three former executives of the company that built the apartment block in Taiwan that collapsed during an earthquake at the weekend, killing dozens, were arrested late Tuesday.

The three, which include the former chairman of the Weiguan company, were detained and held separately late Tuesday, following an order from the Taiwan Tainan District Court. The court said the detainees could be subject to negligent homicide charges, the country's CNA news agency reported.

Thirty-nine people died in the 17-storey Weighuan Jinlong apartment building when it collapsed in Saturday's 6.4-magnitude earthquake, which caused a total of 41 fatalities, the report said.

More than 100 people were still thought trapped in the remains of the building, the report cited the fire department of Tainan as saying, as hope faded of finding survivors three days after the quake.

Rescue work continued late Tuesday, with signs of four survivors being detected, CNA reported.

Authorities suspect the shoddy construction of the building was responsible for its collapse, media reports said.

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